It was an ad for Converse by John Varvatos, a new line (and a VERY rare partnership for Converse) that will soon debut in stores around the country. I smiled to myself wondering if they meant to pay homage to that famous Ayn Rand quote from Atlas Shrugged 'Who is John Gault' or if they were just prompting interest by asking what you, the public, would ask when you hear the name. Hmm'
That night I rode the elevator of 7 World Trade Center to the large industrial loft space where the show was to take place. Walking into the expansive room I was greeted by a view of the city that ran the entire length of the room due to the floor to ceiling windows doubling as walls. Having read up on John I thought it the absolute perfect setting for his collection. He, like the architecture of New York, pairs old world dignity with modern elegance in his creations. To view the lights of one of the oldest and simultaneously most modern cities as the backdrop to his Fall 2007 collection was an utter stroke of genius.
The audience reflected this combination as well. There were young stylish men and older men of sophistication and elegance (with women - or men - who complimented them). The oohs and ahs when they were visually hit upon entering the room by the incredible view revealed the desired impact had been achieved.
The lights dimmed and the models filed out accompanied by a great mix of Rock & Roll and The Blues. John hails from Detroit so he loves his Rock. I especially appreciated the electronic version of Muddy Waters. But what I REALLY loved were the clothes. One after another, ensembles that were at once masculine and extremely stylish walked towards my camera's lens. Very impressed I said to myself, "I think the Ayn Rand reference was intended." Read the book, you'll know what I mean... but basically it's about Excellence shrugging Mediocrity. And John's thoroughly modern combination of hats, bow ties and vests a la 1900's mixed with skinny ties and pants a la 1980's showed pure design excellence.
And let me just mention the models. One thing I very quickly became aware of was the amount of confidence the models had at John Varvatos' show. I'd been to quite a few collections at fashion week and thought it rather odd that the male models seemed to be so awkward. It could be that John had chosen well and directed even better but I think it was something more than that.
I think that when the models put on these burnished leather jackets, layers of vests and shirts and ties in dark olive, mauve, and chocolate, they got that little glint in their eye. You know the one, when you put on something you know you look absolutely fantastic in and you stand a little taller with a sparkle in your eye? That's how these men were, wearing John Varvatos' creations. They didn't walk down the runway, they strolled down it.
That was what I loved most the John Varvatos Fall Collection. The combining of beautiful leather coats with herringbone slacks or chocolate colored skinny jeans and a military jacket, worn by men who know they look good presented to me an ideal image of a man I'd love to get to know. The man who simultaneously cares about what he looks like but also just shoves his pants into his boots and throws a cool hat on because it's cold out is QUITE the winning combo.
John's clothes are masculine, imaginative, visually appealing (with a color palatte that looks good on any skin tone) and also extremely comfortable! What's not to love?
So I guess what I'm saying is this. Men are always soooo worried about getting a little action with the women. Well, if they shopped John Varvatos, they'd have a VERY easy time.
To see more photos by Felle Photography click here: felleportfolio.com